When the club was first established, back in 1886, it was with the intention of promoting both football and hurling in the town. However, it appears that football became the more popular of the two and little hurling was played up to 1917. Considering the economic circumstances of many of those involved in the club, the cost of hurleys must have been a prohibitive factor, as indeed it is today.
Following the 1916 Rising, and the execution of it's leaders, the spirit of nationalism was strong throughout the country. In what better way could the Gaels of Dunmanway show their support for the movement than by establishing a club to encourage hurling, our most traditional game. Thus, a meeting was held in St. Patrick's Hall on the first Sunday of January at which a hurling club was established. The first match played by the club was against Bantry in Bantry. The following is a report of that game:
A very interesting exhibition of hurling was witnessed by a large crowd at the Bantry Athletic Grounds on Sunday, between the local team and Dunmanway. The field was in good form, and everything passed off in the best sportsmanlike Bantry had scored 3 points to nil. During the second, Dunmanway warmed to the game, and scored a goal (3 points) to nil by the home team. The result was, therefore, a tie. They are to meet again at an early date. Mr. Jeremiah McCarthy, N. T. refereed. The enthusiasm of the hurlers seemed to have rubbed off on the footballers as another meeting was held in St. Patrick's Hall, this time to reorganise the football club. No information is available on how, either team fared in their championships.
Not to be outdone the ladies of the town also organised themselves, forming a camogie club, as illustrated by the following report:
Camogie - Dunmanway Girls V .Casheliskey (Clonakilty).
The above camogie match took place on Sunday last in Clonakilty, in the presence of a large crowd and after a very vigorous match, resulted in a win for Casheliskey girls by 6 goals to 3. Mr. Michael Aheme, Clonakilty refereed.